With the events of 2020 and the arrival of Covid-19 on the scene around the world, there is a rising concern about how the current and future restrictions will impact our celebration of Christmas this year. With continued limits on social gatherings and social distancing requirements, we need to start preparing now for what the holidays will look like come December.
Social gatherings will be the first to be impacted. With current restrictions limiting public and private gatherings to only six people in a group, it could prove very difficult to pull off the traditional family Christmas dinner or party. Even company parties will be at risk this year, or cancelled altogether because venues will not be permitted to allow any substantial number of people to congregate, indoors or outside. Even gatherings held in private homes are expected to folow the same rules as for venues and pubs, so there is no doubt that having a gathering of extended family in 2020 for Christmas will likely be out of the question.
Other things that will likely change this year will be shopping. Traditionally, people flock to the retail stores to buy out all of the great holiday specials and deals to fill the space under the tree, however this year, the shopping will likely shift from in store purchases to online. This trend is already evident as we see many people currently opting to order supplies, food, clothes and almost anything else they need from online retailers, then having it shipped to their home, allowing them to completely avoid personal contact to stay safe. We should expect this trend to continue for the Christmas season, since social distancing will be even harder to observe properly in a crowded department store. The biggest concern this year over shopping will be whether the large online retailers will be able to keep up with the demand, and the ability of carriers to deliver the products in a timely manner.
Another area that will be different will be the world of entertainment. It is normal for there to be many theatre events during the holidays and school pagents as well that will be restricted, cancelled or skipped altogether because of the requirements on group gatherings. It's an unfortunate effect of the virus, but a reality that will change how we celebrate this year.
Finally, due to the highly religous focus around Christmas, we always find a way to worship during the holidays. This year will be changed for us all. While churches are allowed to be open, they will be strictly limited by the rules of gatherings, and this will have a direct impact on how we will be able to interact safely within a church setting. The government is searching for ways to continue our religous rituals while still keeping people safe with proper social distancing. 2020 has been a year like no other, and it's best that we prepare now for how we will adapt to the changes we face.